Our "Summer Risers" series will bring you the 411 on the guys who propelled themselves onto the lists of recruiting coordinators or are just some new faces we want to keep an eye on.
First off is Artem Wallace, formerly Artem Terechov before being adopted by the Wallace family, "blew up" on his first day at the Double Pump West Coast All-Star camp in Southern California during early July.
The 6-8, 210-pounder already had a solid reputation built in the state after a very strong showing at the Class 1A state tournament during his freshman season. He led the tourney in rebounding and made first-team all-tournament. We saw him during the summer of 2002 just prior to his sophomore season and were impressed with his footwork, a solid shot to 15 feet and we smiled as he hit little jump-hooks along the baseline repeatedly.
He did not play "select" basketball until this summer, with the Portland-based ICA Panthers, but after his strong showing at the aforementioned camp, as well as in several of the evaluation period tournaments, Artem showed he could play with the big dogs.
And there was a noticeable difference in his body since June 2002. He had filled out a bunch. Artem went from a fairly lanky kid in 2002 to a more wide-bodied banger in July 2003. With two years before he will step onto a college campus, one can only imagine what he might look like physically.
The term "upside" is thrown out plenty when the talk turns to Wallace. What exactly does that mean? Upside is all about potential. A player may not be at a full "ready-for-prime-time" level at the moment, but has plenty of pieces in his tool box already and, with continued development, growth and hard work, could reach the highest level. It's all about potential and Wallace has tons.
One service listed him as the top big man at the West Coast All-Star camp and within a week coaches from around the country were working their contacts to find out his schedule for the remained of the summer. The folks in Toledo can expect to see plenty of "company" in the form of Division-1 coaches at their games during the remainder of Artem's high school career.